Using EMRs to reduce medical errors in drug prescription

Medical errors are a third-leading cause of deaths in the United States of America, killing between 210,000 to 440,000 patients every year. These shocking statistics were revealed in a survey report titled, “A New, Evidence-based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care”, published in Journal of Patient Safety.


Owing to the alarming number of medical errors, patient safety has become a major concern in healthcare system. This puts immense pressure on people related to healthcare, particularly physicians to find solutions to avoid medical errors.

Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software can help reduce the chances for physicians to make mistakes. EMRs can be particularly helpful in reducing chances of wrong medication.

Common mistakes due to wrong prescriptions

Prescribing medicines is the most sensitive job and most deadly mistakes occur while creating paper prescriptions. In paper-based practices, these mistakes mostly happen when the physician is not aware of the past or current medication of the patient and prescribe drugs that may react with them.

Also, the patient may be allergic to the medication prescribed. This usually happens when the physician has incomplete history of the patient.

Sometimes, failure to recognize and warn the patient of the side effects of the medicine also results in fatality. In case of patients with critical disease, like diabetes, failure to regulate the frequency of the doze can be fatal for them.

EMR makes the job easier for physicians

The staff of Senator Barbara Boxer conducted a survey report, “Medical Errors”, advising hospitals how to reduce medical errors at their facilities. According to the report EMR is a primary tool that can help minimize the chances of fatal medical errors. This is how:

  • The electronic records are legible, making it easier for pharmacists to read correctly
  • Recording accurate medical, family and social history of patients can help physicians identify drug, food and other allergies
  • A Cloud-based EMR can allow physicians to access their system at home and make necessary changes to the medicine in time of emergency
  • Instead of relying on their memory, physicians can access their electronic notes on a single click. Also, the complete database of medicines is available in the EMR for physicians’ convenience.

EMRs are not just means of collecting data, but also help to improve the efficiency of physicians’ workflow and improving patient care.


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